A CARROT that cycled close to two months down the east coast of Australia has encouraged the nation to re-think its approach food production.
The man underneath the bright carrot costume was former St Patrick’s schoolboy James Blyth, 31, who rode his bike 3000km from Brisbane to Hobart.
Mr Blyth was on the outskirts of Hobart on Thursday evening, April 14 preparing for the final leg of his journey, when he pulled over to the side of the road to speak with The Gympie Times on his mobile phone.
The cyclist showed little sign of fatigue as he spoke enthusiastically about his one-man mission to introduce Australians to sustainable urban farming.
Mr Blyth grew up on a Wolvi property where he was introduced to the principles of sustainable living, but it was not until he left Australia about five years ago and spent time in Montreal, Canada, South America and Hawaii that his interest in urban farming was cultivated.
“I spent three years in Montreal and one-and-a-half years travelling as a volunteer in South America and Hawaii,” he said.
“I saw a few different backyard farming techniques that work really well in a urban setting.
“It’s about intensive production techniques.”
Mr Blyth said while urban farming concepts were gaining traction overseas, the idea was just appearing on Australia’s radar.
The decision to cycle as a carrot between Brisbane and Hobart was made on a whim.
“I am into cycling and a week before I left I decided on the costume,” he said.
“It was a bit of a gimmick but the reactions have been great out on the road.”
Radio stations and newspapers showed great interest in Mr Blyth’s journey, while cars honking their horns and even a handful of police pulling over to ask for a photo opportunity were trip highlights.
The distance of the trip itself was also symbolic.
“People don’t realise how many food miles go into our food production and distribution,” Mr Blyth said.
“Even when food is stamped made in Australia, it could be coming from the other side of the country.”
The urban farming advocate planned to spend a week a in Hobart before heading back to Brisbane to catch up with family.